Y-90 TheraSphere Glass Microspheres for Liver Cancer

What is Y-90 TheraSphere™?

TheraSphere infuses microscopic glass beads—or "microspheres"—with a radiotherapeutic isotope of the element yttrium (Y-90). Each bead is thinner than a strand of hair. These microscopic beads deliver highly concentrated radiation directly to a liver tumor. Nearby healthy tissue receives minimal radiation with this treatment method.

Why am I having TheraSphere therapy?

We use TheraSphere to:

  • Minimize the effect of metastasis in the liver. Metastasis occurs when cancer develops in a secondary location—in this case the liver—from the primary site of cancer.
  • Shrink liver tumors before surgery or eliminate the need for surgery

What type of technology does TheraSphere therapy use?

TheraSphere uses advanced engineering to infuse microscopic glass spheres with highly concentrated radiation.

What conditions are treated using TheraSphere therapy?

We use TheraSphere to treat liver cancer.

What does TheraSphere therapy feel like?

Having TheraSphere therapy is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure. You will have anesthesia for the treatment. During the procedure, we thread a catheter from a small incision in your upper leg and through your veins to the target location. We use 3-dimensional imaging to help us visualize the route the catheter takes. We only release the medication when the catheter reaches the capillaries that supply blood to a liver tumor.

Will I experience any side effects?

You may experience some flu-like symptoms during the first week after treatment as the tumor shrinks, including:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Moderate fatigue
  • Nausea

Your provider will discuss with you any possible side effects and ways to manage them before treatment.